Cranking It Up

6.26.10 (Graham Lucas)

In a 180 degree turnaround from Raleigh, Phish played two scintillating sets of music in Charlotte, North Carolina last night, sculpting a show that smoked from start to finish. The night carried a full-on rock and roll vibe from the get go, never relenting as the band combined a standout setlist with playing to match, navigating a show that never slowed down. Illustrating what can happen with two tactfully constructed sets, last night represented one of Phish’s top-notch summer efforts. As the band prepares to ransack Atlanta for July 4th weekend, they did quite a job to Charlotte on the way down.

6.11.10 (M.Pohl)

Kicking off Friday night’s affair with the first “Buried Alive” of this year, the band gave the show a super charge from the beginning, busting out one of the best openers in their repertoire. Dropping into “AC/DC Bag,” Phish got last night’s show on the road as soon as it began. Dusting off “Vultures” for only the second time this era, Charlotte’s rendition sounded far tighter than Albany’s version from last fall. Giving the set a hard edge early on, the rarity also set the improvisational tone for the first set, a frame that would feature five vehicles into structured excursions. A swank and groovealicious”Wolfman’s” brought the set a dose of glossy molasses that outshone most any other version from this tour. The non-stop first set continued with a rollicking version of “Back on the Train” that saw the band stretch out the twangy funk into a set highlight, bringing the show to an early peak. Phish followed up with two more 2010 debuts in “The Wedge,” and the post-hiatus, tongue-in-cheek ballad, “Mexican Cousin.”

But the first half came to its earnest peak with a full-band exploration of “Stash.” Leading out with some tasteful whaling, Trey painted the background as Mike and Page stepped to the forefront. Allowing full participation early on, Trey’s laid back whaling almost always leads to more dynamic, full-band peaks come the end of the song because other band members had more of a stake in getting there. Such was the case with “Stash,” as the entire foursome hopped aboard this sinister ship, braving a stormy sea like the Argonauts. Bringing the piece to a climactic conclusion, Phish capped the set with the old-school combination of “Sparkle,” “Chalk Dust.”

6.25.10 (G. Lucas)

When the first set flows as well as last night’s did, second sets usually follow; and last night’s most certainly did, bursting with energy the entire time. Phish hadn’t touched “Drowned” since SPAC a couple weeks ago, thus when in opened the second set, it felt as fresh as could be. Blowing out the rock peak into a set of slamming percussive rhythms, Phish gradually built the piece from hard groove into a flowing river of beauty without any abrupt changes or “cut and paste” jamming. The piece came to an organic conclusion when Trey came in with the opening lick of “46 Days,” a landing pad that has produced grungy sheets of dissonance and blistering guitar work all summer long. This version absolutely followed suit, injecting pure bombast into the set, leaving the crowd in the palm of Phish’s hand. The song’s new vocal ending provided a creative bridge into “Twenty Years Later,” one of the best surprises of the second half of tour, as the band is finally expanding the end of this piece into an ominous piece of sonic turbulence. The crunchy rhythms and heavily effected guitar leads provide a type of aural trek that Phish all-but avoids these days, making the song a welcome addition to any setlist. Completing the opening triumvirate with seething sounds, the band whispered into the summer’s first “Lizards” with artistic juxtaposition. Providing a mid-set interlude into Gamehendge, the placement of the song worked perfectly as a bridge between the two halves of the set.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Following its serene midway point, Phish doused the rest of the set in gasoline and lit it on fire. The band crashed open the door to a stunning final sequence with “Carini,” immediately cranking the show’s energy up to eleven. Mike’s basslines led the march into the underworld, while Trey spat licks of fury, and Fish and Page crafted the textures of the piece. Amidst this madness, Trey began a unique lick that the band immediately hopped into, leading a transition into….what?! As soon as Mike began singing the Zappa-eqsue lyrics, it became clear that we were witnessing Phish history with the second-ever performance of “Fuck Your Face!” And this was the only version anyone in the audience ever saw, unless someone was at Nectar’s on April 29, 1987 to see the only known performance of the iconic piece of The White Tape, (and even that date is debatable according to With the “bust-out” to trump all others, “Carini > Fuck Your Face” became an immediate piece of Phish legend; to use an overused term – straight-up epic.

6.12.10 (M.Stein)

Without missing a beat, Phish sustained the end of “Fuck Your Face’s” fury, splashing directly into “2001.” Charging into the fast-paced funk, the band spring-boarded off their Michael Jackson-laced medley with an incendiary set of dance grooves that grew more significant than 3.0 version but Camden’s. Moving with urgency through the futuristic soundtrack, Phish slayed each half of the instrumental, as Page took the lead in a synthesized second verse. Dripping with energy, and moving faster than usual, the band peaked the song, setting the table for perfectly for “You Enjoy Myself.”

Putting a creative exclamation point on the starry evening, Phish moved impeccably through the composed half of the song, plunging into “Boy!” with unreal momentum. The band completely clicked in this version, tackling the jam with notable confidence from start to finish. Beginning in a laid back groove, the band organically built the piece with outstanding phrasing from all four members. Trey even worked in “Fuck Your Face” teases amidst his solo, bringing the show’s gem back into play. Attacking this version with subconscious communication, last night’s “YEM” popped in a way that many others don’t. Juicing the bass solo for all he was worth, Gordeaux pounded away the sets final notes of music before Phish’s voices took over. Using the generally mundane vocal jam into a capella teases of “Proud Mary” and “Get Back,” the band clearly was feeling it, right up to their last beat.

“A Day in A Life” put a dignified conclusion on a classic Phish show that served as part two of a July’s only four course meal. As the community flocks to Atlanta for this weekend’s two-night party, Phish is coming armed and ready to celebrate this holiday weekend. And if memory serves correctly, Phish has demolished the only two patriotic weekends in their history.  Get ready…fireworks expected.

I: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag, Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother, Back on the Train, The Wedge, Mexican Cousin, Stash, Sparkle, Chalk Dust Torture

II: Drowned > 46 Days > Twenty Years Later, The Lizards, Carini > Fuck Your Face > Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself*

E: A Day in the Life

* w/ “Proud Mary” and “Get Back” vocal jam

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531 Responses to “Cranking It Up”

  1. Jtran Says:

    Still waiting for my Stashteca in 3.0 😉

  2. neemor Says:

    I don’t believe it.
    Potato Vulture?
    Wondered when it would come again…
    Worcester ’98 was the last, yes?

    FYF would have had to follow Carini.
    Someone asked the other day what the ‘ultimate bust-out’ would be.
    You just saw it.

    Glide II would be the next.

    Enjoy the south, all…nice work Leo, sounds like you’re helping set the table for the board and some great experiences!

    Love it.

    Side note: Mr. C. Really? Why the negativity?

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    @G-diddy, not bummed I missed the Vultures. I’m just glad they played it again, and apparently they tightened it up. That and Roggae were two of my faves they did play last year, but not very well.

    And I differ from @Z. I actually really dislike the “potato” lyrics and am disappointed to hear they’re back. Not very disappointed, but a little. I think Vultures is one of their most perfectly dark songs, and the “potato” lyric variation breaks the spell. IMO when they do that song straight, it’s genius. The jokey bit in the middle spoils the mood a bit. Just my picky $0.02 about one of my very, very favorite Phish songs.

  4. Luther Justice Says:

    I’m on my 2nd listen of this show and its just as great as the first. DL this show people. What are you waiting on?

  5. Andrew Says:

    Exactly what we all needed last night, straight to the jugular. The walk out always says it best…WTF just happened in there? And better yet, I’m still boiling with tenacity this morning, unreal force unleashed last night. Hot’lanta will be stewing, put on your goggles and plug the nose.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:


    come on

    “jammed out FYF” ?

    fucking epic epic shit, man

  7. neemor Says:

    Sorry, I guess I took the ‘negativity’ out of context.

    Stash has been fun for me almost every time out.
    Weird. To each his own.
    They’ve been pushing that song and creating solid, interesting and cohesive versions every time out of the box.
    Like Wolfman’s.

    Buried Alive opener=scintillating show.

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    @lycan, I liked the RR stash from last year. and a couple others. not great but good. haven’t heard this one yet. would love a really perfected first set version and then a second set opener with open jam.

    I feel like stash has regressed in ’10 – possibly until this version?

  9. kayatosh Says:

    Glide II is a good tune. — flip, flip, flip

  10. AlexanderK Says:

    I’m so glad that they played so well in Charlotte, but I have to admit.. I’m petrified that they’re going to botch the Alpharetta shows with a Walnut Creek-style bomb! X_X


  11. marcoesq Says:

    Razor/potato to the throat

    That part?

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    Mike Gordon is a species of lily?!?

    that explains a lot. I guess.

  13. Lycanthropist Says:

    I guess with Stash, I just want different things out of it then what they are doing now.

    Not saying that what they are doing is bad or anything.

    Its just I want my stashes to be totally mindfucks.

  14. Jtran Says:


    I wouldn’t bet on it. IMO, last weekend each show got better as they went.

    Looks like the same theme is shaping up this weekend? Could get epic.

  15. marcoesq Says:


    Not sure if you saw me ask yesterday but have you been able to paddle out recently?

    I’m looking to head up to NJ in the next few weeks to catch some

    Hopefully hurricane season will provide!

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    right @marco

    sing “razor” and the song really has a nice dark feel throughout

    sing “potato” and you’ve thrown a nonsense joke into an otherwise dark song

    not trying to take anything away from last night, just my little opinion. still very very glad to see it on the list and listen to it later

  17. marcoesq Says:

    yeah I here you, razor “feels” much better in the song context

    (little pun intended)

  18. El Duderino Says:

    I completely do not understand the Raleigh hate!

    Were you guys in Raleigh, NC.???

    I just want to make sure, ‘cuz it’s sounds like you were in Raleigh, ND. or something.

    It’s gonna be real hard to top these last 2 shows…

    Have fun all you BBer’s. I’m having a hard dose of no more shows this morning. Feelin’ depressed. Really need these other 2 shows!

  19. Jtran Says:

    Still no 7 Below…I bet a big one could be coming.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    with the razor lyric it’s one of my go-to songs for when I want to play one Phish tune for someone that doesn’t know their music but has formed stereotypes secondhand…it’s never what they were expecting!

  21. Jtran Says:

    I mean no 7 Below in a while (since Portsmouth)

  22. El Duderino Says:

    @ Lycan

    I didn’t think the Stash was “All That”.

    Lot more whale last night compared to the night before.

  23. AlexanderK Says:

    @El Duderino

    You’re absolutely right… I was not there. I listened to the shows and it wasn’t my favorite, but there is no replacement for being there and and existing inside of that feeling that they can create before your eyes..

    So excited about the shows tonight!!!!! See you guys there..

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    @dude, yeah we had that chat yesterday

    obviously most people who were there disagree with Miner, you too, the consensus is that it was a real good time

    I enjoyed listening to it yesterday

    very crisply played with some fantastic highlights

    if shows like that and CMAC are the so-called “off shows” then Phish is doing allright

  25. Born Under Punches Says:

    With all of the variety they have been playing each show and now the FYF bustout, it seems like Phish might be making a conscious decision to play every song in their repertoire this year. If this is the case, can we take this assumption one step further and bank on them playing a Gamehenge set in 2010?

    T-Ride night one, set two.

    A boy can dream can’t he?

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